“We could tear them down, I think personally, beforehand”

Georgia is unlikely to have its top defensive lineman in Jalen Carter as he deals with an MCL injury. That seems to have encouraged Auburn heading into Saturday’s game.

Related: Jalen Carter is unlikely to play against Auburn after an MCL injury

Auburn center Brandon Council spoke to reporters Wednesday in Auburn and made clear how the Tigers could go about beating Georgia in Athens for the first time since the 2005 season.

“I just think they’re capable of, like, their third-down package,” said the Council. “They got some inside stunts that hinder the run game, but we start fast. If you start fast, run the ball on them and keep them out of their third-down packages, really, we could tear them down, I think personally, up front.

Council added that the plan is for Auburn to get off to a fast start on Saturday against Georgia. Auburn has held double-digit leads in each of its last two SEC games, only for the Tigers to cough up both of those leads. Auburn lost 21-17 last week at home against LSU.

“Our jail is to go in there like a SWAT team,” Council said. “Go in, quiet the noise, come out.”

Auburn is a 30-point underdog against the No. 2 Bulldogs. Even without Carter, Georgia’s defensive line has still performed well so far this season. An ankle injury limited Carter to just 36 snaps over the past four games before injuring his knee against Missouri. The Bulldogs have the No. 12 rush defense in the country to this point in the season.

Georgia will lean more on Zion Logue, Warren Brinson, Nazir Stackhouse and Bill Norton this week without Carter. Georgia will also likely use freshman Bear Alexander more often in Carter’s role.

“When he knows what he’s doing, he can be as disruptive as Jalen sometimes,” defensive lineman Zion Logue said. “Once he figures it out and learns the defense a little more, he’s going to be really good.”

Related: With Jalen Carter injured, Georgia football is going to see what Bear Alexander has learned

Georgia coach Kirby Smart knows this rivalry game brings out a lot of passion given his time as a player at Georgia. He mentioned the intensity of the rivalry in his opening comments to the media this week.

“The tradition and history of this game is pretty incredible,” Smart said. “I think when you talk about one of the oldest rivalries in college football, it’s always been a game that I know as a player I looked forward to playing in. It’s been some fantastic matches between the two teams and our boys are looking forward to playing at home in front of a raucous crowd, great atmosphere.

“I expect our fans to come out and give us an electric atmosphere to play against a good Auburn football team.”

This isn’t the first time under Smart that Auburn has said something provocative about Georgia, with Gus Malzahn famously signing off that Auburn “whipped the crap out of them” after the 2017 regular season meeting. Georgia got revenge in the SEC championship in the same season and hasn’t lost to Auburn since Malzahn uttered those words.

Georgia beat Auburn 34-10 last season. Saturday’s game is set for a kickoff at 3:30 PM ET on CBS.

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